Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 has been released

I assume all of you know by now that Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 to manufactoring. If you don't, you must be living in a cave or something. Nevertheless, if you want, you can download trial versions from here. If you have an MSDN Premium subscription, then you can download the full Team Suite edition directly from MSDN Subscriptions.

Since there have been so many different posts on this on the web, I've collected some of the more interesting ones right here.

  • If you still have beta 2 or a previous build installed, check out this post. It helps you uninstall any residual leftovers.
  • Daniel Moth is well-known for providing very detailed info on what's new in Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5. He has been my primary source for learning the nitty gritty.
  • Although the Team Foundation Server version you can download from MSDN is a 90-day trial, it is safe to upgrade your existing servers. Upgrading to the retail version is just a matter of entering the appropriate license key. No reinstall necessary.
  • An important license change (one which my current customer will be very happy with), is that you don't need a Client Access Licence (CAL) if you only use TFS for tracking defects.
  • Brian Harry has blogged about planned upgrades for the TFS Power Tools and the TFS Web Access upgrades here. If you can't wait, the current CTP will work with the RTM version.
  • Jeff Beehler has compiled a comprehensive list of what's new in TFS 2008 over here.
  • The people responsible for the AJAX Control Toolkit have also releases a new version compatible with the final version of the .NET Framework. Download it from here.
  • The Visual Studio 2008 SDK has been shipped as well. Those who have been building custom DSL-based solutions, can now upgrade as well.
  • The plan is to port the Web Service Software Factory : Modeling Edition to Visual Studio 2008 and release it before the end of February 2008. However, Don Smith expects to have a CTP available before the end of the year, and maybe an alpha drop a bit earlier.
  • Glenn Block, the product planner for the Web Client Software Factory told me that they plan to have a version in the beginning of next year. There is an article though that should allow you to modify the factory manually, but I haven't tried that yet.

Friday, November 09, 2007

TechSessie over Visual Studio 2008 en C# 3.0 op 29 november

Op de TechEd in Barcelona heeft Microsoft de afgelopen week aangekondigd dat de RTM versie van Visual Studio 2008 nog voor het einde van de maand beschikbaar komt. Het zal je dan ook niet verbazen dat er veel te horen en te zien was over alle nieuwe mogelijkheden en handigheidjes die Microsoft's belangrijkste ontwikkelomgeving te bieden heeft.

Wil jij ook weten wat Nested Master Pages zijn of hoe je met LINQ-to-SQL je database object-georienteerd kunt benaderen? Of wil je graag zien welke productiviteitsverbetering de ASP.NET designer je biedt? Kom dan op 29 november naar de interactieve presentatie van Dennis. Hij zal je aan de hand van voorbeelden en demo's laten zien wat hij allemaal op de TechEd geleerd heeft.

Gewenste voorkennis
Kennis van C# 2.0 en Visual Studio 2005 is gewenst.

Over Dennis
Dennis is een software architect met 11 jaar ervaring waarvan de laatste 6 jaar vooral met de focus op .NET, architectuur en OO. De laatste twee jaar is Dennis (mede)verantwoordelijk geweest voor het ontwerpen, bouwen, en uitrollen van ontwikkelstraten gebaseerd op .NET 2.0 en 3.0 en de zo vaak genoemde DSL tools. Inmiddels maakt hij voornamelijk gebruik van de standaard software factories en applications blocks van Microsoft's Patterns & Practices groep. Dennis is sinds maart dit jaar tevens Expert Advisor voor Microsoft rondom de nieuwe Web Service Software Factory : Modeling Edition.

Om 18:00 uur staat de pizza klaar, om ca 18:45 start de sessie. De sessie duurt uiterlijk tot 21:00 uur.

Aanmelden & Lokatie & contactpersoon
Wil je deze sessie bijwonen laat het ons weten. Stuur je mail naar Je krijgt dan een bevestiging van ons.

Aviva .Net Engineers, Roy Oude Weernink
Haagse Schouwweg 8
2332 KG  Leiden

Voor meer informatie over ons en de routebeschrijving kijk op onze website

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Web Service Software Factory : Modeling Edition is live!

This must be the first time I've actually been a witness of a Microsoft product being released while sitting next to the guy who did it. So it's done! The final bits of the new Web Service Software Factory : Modeling Edition have been release by Don Smith, the product planner from P&P, right from the TechEd Barcelona 2007.

I've already tried it on our running project, and all models opened up properly. Apparently, no changes were made to the internal structure of the models. If you are still using the pre-CTP version, this post may help you convert your existing models to the CTP version.

I'll go through the issues and problems I have found in earlier versions and update the corresponding CodePlex items along with it.

An awesome experience

Yesterday was my big day. I finally got a chance to present some of my experiences working with the P&P software factories and factories in general next to Mister Software Factory Don Smith and Mister Enterprise Library Olaf Conijn. In the morning I did actually attend a session (not worth mentioning), but I've used the remainder of the day to visit Don and Olaf's session on the Service Factory : Modeling Edition, and to prepare our big session in the afternoon. The original plan was to have only a maximum of 15 minutes of speaking time, but Don thought I would be much more interesting to actually be there for the entire session and adding my personal experiences to all his sheets! Well, that was risky but very cool.


While approaching the session start time, I became more nervous by the minute. But after I finally climbed on the stage, I started to feel more relaxed. We all thought that the session went great and the interaction between me and Don appeared to go smoothly. Unfortunately, the ratings did not entirely correspond to that feeling. The 500 attendees had some trouble coping with three speakers in one session and did not really like the demos. Apparently they were expecting more personal experiences and process related aspects of software factories (which we have a lot of to share). Ironically, the TechEd organisation urged us to have a lot of demos. Well...what the heck... it is not happening every day that somebody gets to have his first public tech talk at the auditorium of the European TechEd!!

My colleague Arnold-Jan recorded the introduction on video. Check it out here (it's about 18 MB, so beware).

At the auditorium

Check out the picture below. It's me, Don Smith and Olaf Conijn speaking at the auditorium of the Barcelona TechEd 2007. Check out the full story at our Aviva blog.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Day 2

Well, it was a very difficult morning indeed. Last night, we went to Olaf Conijn's party at the beach of Montgat and met with him, his twin sister Judith and Don Smith, Product Manager of P&P. Each of us brought some drinks and snacks and we had a great time talking about lots of useless stuff. I think I went to bed between 4:00 and 4:30 in the morning.

But, here we are, at the first session of the day presented by Simon Guest. As was promised in his summary, I was expecting a kind of framework that should help architects defining a system that better suits their customer's needs. But even though he is a reasonable speaker, his presentation was a bit of an open book. Nevertheless, he did show us a nice tool that helps choosing between the many technologies Microsoft has to offer. By adjusting sliders representing aspects such as the amount of interaction needed, required performance, offline/online dependency et al, it shows you the best combination possible.

The second show of the day was hosted by Luca Bolognese, the Product Lead for LINQ, which was suffering from an extremely heavy Italian accent (or pretending to have one). He presented us with a great code-only demonstration of LINQ-to-SQL, the types of LINQ queries available, and the resulting SQL queries executed. Quite powerful indeed. I think there must have been over 2000 attendees, but he didn't seem to bother at all.

The fourth presentation was much more interesting. Shanku Niyogi (Microsoft) demonstrated the new ASP.NET MVC Framework and a whole bunch of new dynamic controls. These dynamic controls allow you to build a data-intensive web site using simple page templates for lists, details, edit, etc. They basically created what many IT shops have been creating themselves. The first CTP of it will be available soon.

The formal part of the day was completed with a presentation on ASP.NET AJAX. Since most of this stuff is already available on I didn't pay a lot of attention there. Obviously, the lack of sleep was not really helping either.

In the evening, I had diner with Don and Olaf to discuss the contents and the slides of our presentation on Wednesday. We had lots of discussions on what may work and what may not, especially because there will be three people on the stage. Olaf will do the demos, Don will guide the audience through the slides, and I will try to provide comments and additions from my own experiences. The presentation will be held at the auditorium so it is well possible that we will be talking to 1000-2000 people! Hmmm, I need to get a decent sleep to relax now...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

First day at the TechEd Developer 2007

In contrast to last year's TechEd, the first day is not a pre-conference day, but starts with the traditional keynote. However, we did not know that it would not start until 14:00. So we used the morning to do some shopping and getting ourselves a nice (but cheap) breakfast in the sun. I finally convinced Arnold Jan to buy a decent jacket and drop his Aviva Solutions jacket. I'd rather not walk around next to a walking billboard. Sorry Bart :-)

Since we already registrered ourselves before the 1st of July, we were entitled as Early Birds. In addition to an ugly baseball cap we were allowed to sit in the front of the keynote session. I typically don't really care about keynotes, but the techno music was great. Check out the picture with the two of us below...and notice the smiles...without any alcohol (yet).

Unfortunately, the organization has not learned from last year. Soma Somasegar may be the corporate vice president and from what I've heard he is a nice guy, but he is definitely not the best speaker. Nevertheless, one of his product managers gave a great demo showing the full potential of Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5. And after making an important announcement (see the post of Arnold Jan van der Berg), they played a very funny demo highlighting some of the way Microsoft works internally.

The first real presentation today was done by Daniel Moth. I've been following his blog very closely because he is one of the few who has been posting a lot (and with a lot, I mean a lot (!)) about Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5. It appeared that he is a gifted speaker as well. One of the great things I learned today is that many of the new C# 3.0 features are also available to .NET Framework 2.0 applications. In fact, all new IDE features are as well (such as Javascript Intellisense and debugging and the new ASP.NET features). Make sure you check out his blog as well.

The second presentation was held by Roy Osherove and dealt with the various aspects of Agile development and the way Team System facilitates that. Since it did not know much of Scrum, it was interesting to see how you can make other Agile methodologies work with VSTS. Other than highlighting some very recognizing project management challenges, he actually played a piece of music on his guitar. And I must say, not bad at all. This session lasted until 19:00 and concluded the first day. Now we need to get ready for Olaf Conijn's birthday party.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Arrived at Barcelona

Yesterday, after a reasonably short flight, we arrived at a sunny Barcelona. Even though Transavia is not famous for their luxurious seats, Internet check-in allows choosing your own seats 24 hours up-front, so picking the ones near the emergency exists was easy. I arrived at Schiphol Airport at around 10:15 and we dumped our luggage at the Best Western Regina at around 15:00. It was funny to observe my traveling companion and colleague Arnold Jan engaging in long discussions with the taxi driver. Since I don't speak a word of Spanish, I tried to enjoy the landscape :-)

The remainder of our day consisted of exploring Barcelona, finding the good spots for diner or a nice cold beer, and enjoying a genuine American style muffin at one of the many local Starbucks. Since TechED registration starts on Sunday, we decided to try Barcelona's public transport to register ourselves. But looking at the many people walking around with the famous TechED goody bag, we were not the only one who thought about that.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Aviva Solutions at the TechED Developer Europe 2007

Well, not entirely true, but this year, I have been working closely with the Service Factory team of Microsoft's Patterns & Practices lead by Don Smith.

At the beginning of this year, they've started development on a new generation of their famous Web Service Software Factory: Modeling Edition. Since their early drops were very promising, I decided to include it in a major web project. Over the last months, we have been in close contact with Don and his team and have been trying to use the new factory to its fullest potential.

Don was scheduled to provide a few talks at this year's TechED Developer and I suggested that it may be fun to share some of my experiences with the audience. Well, they had to fight to find some room in one of the P&P talks, but finally, the plan is that I'll get something like 15 minutes. When? On Wednesday in his Build Your Own Software Factory (ARC301) talk.
Oh, in addition to my own humble addition, two other Dutch speakers will be speaking this year: Dennis Vroegop (chairman of the Dutch DotNED user group) and not to forget, Olaf Conijn.